Collecting leaves to use for printing means you can synchronise your creative self with the seasons.
Leaf prints can be used for many decorative purposes, from creating art on paper and framing it, to printing onto fabric and creating unique designs on bags and t-shirts.
What to do:
Select a leaf or cutting and take a good look at it. Is it bumpy or smooth? Are there any ridges? Is one side different from the other? The markings will form the print pattern.
You can decide whether to paint the leaf, or whether to put the leaf on the paper and use spray paints as I did with the ferns in these images.
Experiment on a scrap piece of paper first. Either just use your hands to push down the leaves or use an old rolling pin.
Some things to try:
- Apply a lot of paint and then a little.
- Print each side of the leaf (the veins are usually more pronounced on the underside).
- Overlay leaf prints one on top of the other.
- Hold the leaf flat to prevent movement then let it go.
- Roll or press in all directions, then in just one direction.
For the lettering I like to do calligraphy but you can experiment with stamps, stencils, or freehand lettering. With the spray paints I find that I have to do the lettering first because the ink won’t take over the spray paint.
To finish these little fern Christmas trees I dot a little bit of acrylic paint on them to create fairy lights and a star. I also add a little clear acrylic coating to the star to give it a bit of gloss.
The spray paints I use are either car paint or enamel which give a really nice effect. Make sure you are in a well ventilated room and cover your face so as not to inhale the paint spray. I picked up these car paints for just £1.50 each from a little shop near the beach at Talacre and they last for ages (I use them for the stones too).
These Christmas cards are lovely and unique and much more personal than the mass produced ones in the shops.
If you really don’t fancy making them yourself but would like to buy them instead take a look in my shop here.